Flying Solo in Beantown
Trip Start Aug 30, 2012
16Trip End Oct 19, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
In a very last minute moment of craziness on my first full day in Boston, although I wasn't likely to make it I still decide to jet off on the ‘T’ to Stony Brook for the Samuel Adams brewery tour, running up the street just in time to make the last tour of the day.
Sam Adams is the most awarded beer in the world - they even have an award for winning the most awards. Go figure. I learn more about Sam Adams than anyone really needs to know - from the brewing process to where the left over mash goes (to feed local livestock, it turns out. But it’s not alcoholic at that point so they’re not trying to create self-tipping cows).
The special glassware features and how they enhance the flavour of the beer is pretty fascinating (nerd alert) but if I tell you one thing and one thing only about Sam Adams beer it’d be to try the ‘Boston Brick Red’ if you ever come to Boston. It’s delicious, and it’s only sold in Boston and only on tap. It’s also a charity beer - proceeds go to a local charity that helps people and local businesses with small loans. So you’re not out boozing, you’re doing charity work.
After the tour I take the orange ‘T’ line past my stop all the way to the North End (the Italian district). Sarah and a few others have recommended Mike’s pastry, and Cheri mentioned Maria’s pastry, where they squeeze the filling into the cannoli fresh as you order. It’s time for the great Boston cannoli-off. I don’t really know what to say to you about the outcome. I’m really not fussy about my food. They’re both very nice, but to be honest all that came of this exercise is I discovered I don’t really care for cannoli.
It’s free dinner and ‘bar night’ at the hostel tonight. With my Lithuanian friend gone I’m a little nervous about heading off alone but everyone’s really friendly. Expecting a bar crawl, the crowd is surprised when Michelle the activities coordinator takes us to ONE lonely expensive bar where she’s quite obviously receiving a commission. She’s very talkative… and we make a drinking game based around the number of times she interrupts you to mention she’s from “rural Pennsylvania”.
A bunch of us ditch Michelle’s commission-bar, and it’s a fun night out. Talking to Josh, a tall Aussie bloke, we suddenly realise we know each other and went to high school together. We haven’t seen each other in 15 years! Holly and Sean from England are a hoot (the last hostel they stayed in was apparently half mental-institution, and some Americans the day before had misheard Holly when she asked if she could ‘take a pew’…). John the Californian chef is great and so patient - even taking me for 2am dumplings on the way back to the hostel while I talk his ear off.
I feel like I should give you some history from the Freedom Trail. But all I'll give you is the recommendation to walk it yourself followed by a nice lunch in the North End... and to visit the Beantown Pub which is along the trail. It's across the road from the old Granary cemetary, where Sam Adams is buried. So... it's the only place you can have a cold Sam Adams... while looking at a cold Sam Adams! *badoom-tish*
Besides taking a tumble off my bicycle onto the ROAD in Cape Cod, that was also one of the best days of my trip. A relaxing beach day in a fun town, where I had lobster rolls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do yourselves a favour and go to the ‘Red Shack’, ask for ‘the Connecticut’ and tell them the Aussie sent you.
I do like Boston. The people here can’t say “R” properly either. It’s been great but bring on NYC!
Your B. xx